Entering the marijuana business is a multifaceted endeavor. In addition to developing a business plan and acquiring a license, there are a litany of other aspects that you must consider before you can open for business. While technically cannabis is legal in Oregon, not all municipalities allow for cannabis-related businesses to operate within their borders. Further, there are important zoning and land use provisions that affect where you can legally operate your business. Let’s take a look at some of the laws surrounding land use planning and zoning compliance in connection with cannabis-related businesses.
While local municipalities may have additional prohibitions, there are a few statewide restrictions you should be aware of before applying for a marijuana license: Currently, no Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”) marijuana licensed facility is allowed to be located:
- On federal property
- At the same address as a business with a liquor license or address of a retail liquor agent appointed by the Commission
- At the same address as a medical marijuana processing site registered with the Oregon Health Authority (“OHA”)
- At the same address as a medical marijuana dispensary registered with the OHA
- With the exception of the producer license, in an area that is zoned exclusively for residential use
Additionally, retailers may not be located within 1,000 feet of a public or secondary school, or a private or parochial elementary or secondary school. Visit the Oregon Legislature website for a review of the complete state wide restrictions.
Exclusive Farm Use Zones (EFU)
Except for counties that prohibit marijuana operations, Oregon law permits growing marijuana in any EFU zone. Farm use includes both the preparation and the wholesaling of unprocessed farm products. This includes drying, packaging and labeling. Still, it is important to consult with your locality as there are a variety of other uses that may be proposed in conjunction with farm use that require local land use approval.
Before you can act on an application to produce or sell marijuana, you must provide OLCC with a land use compatibility statement from the city or county in which you intend to locate your business. It is recommended that you first contact your local planning department to ensure compatibility before you submit an application for a license. If you are considering the purchase of land, you should complete the aforementioned process before you make the purchase.